Thursday, December 9, 2021

[Botany • 2021] Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae) • A New Species of Bulbophyllum sect. Cirrhopetaloides from Assam, India

Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis K.Gogoi & R.Hondiqui, 

in Gogoi & Hondiqui, 2021. 
Photos by K. Gogoi.

A new epiphytic Bulbophyllum belonging to section Cirrhopetaloides is described from tropical mixed evergreen forests of Karbi Anglong (Assam, India) with coloured photographs and line drawings. It is allied to the Bulbophyllum bicolor, B. venulosum and B. blaoense, but differs in the size and shape of pseudobulbs, the shape of the leaf blade, and flower size. A detailed description with corresponding color photos and information on the habitat is provided.

Keywords: Bulbophyllum bicolor, Bulbophyllum blaoense, Bulbophyllum sect. Cirrhopetaloides, Flora of India, plant taxonomy

Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis K.Gogoi & R.Hondiqui. 
A. Habit. B. Ventral view of inflorescence. C. Dorsal view of inflorescence. D. Side view of flowers. E. Ventral view of flower. F. Ventral view of perianth. G. Dorsal view of perianth. H. Lip with ovary and column. I. Dorsal view of lip. J. Side view of lip. K. Ventral view of lip. L. Ovary with pedicel and column. M. Front view of column. N. View of pollinarium. O. Anther cap ventral view.
Photos by K. Gogoi.

Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis K.Gogoi & R.Hondiqui. 
 B. Habit. C. inflorescence. A. Distribution map. 
Photos by K. Gogoi.

Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis K.Gogoi & R.Hondiqui, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis resembles B. bicolor, B. venulosum, and B. blaoense but differs in clustered, narrowly ovoid to conic pseudobulb; elliptic-lanceolate leaves; flowers greenish-yellow with purple nerves, lip dark red/purple with a prominent median white band running from the base to the apex, dorsal sepal ovate-oblong, entire; stellidia slender, pointing forward, truncate tooth above, winged bellow. Detailed morphological differences between these species are presented in Table 1.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the “Karbi Anglong” district of Assam, in Northeast India, where the plant was collected.


Khyanjeet Gogoi and Rituraj Hondiqui. 2021. Bulbophyllum karbianglongensis (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae), A New Species from Assam, India. Lankesteriana. 21(3); 325–331. DOI: 10.15517/LANK.V21I3.49046

[Mollusca • 2021] Cryptosemelus betarmon & C. tigrinus • Rediscovering the Dancing Semislug Genus Cryptosemelus Collinge, 1902 (Eupulmonata, Ariophantidae) from Thailand with Description of Two New Species


Cryptosemelus betarmon Pholyotha & C. tigrinus Pholyotha

in Pholyotha, Sutcharit & Panha, 2021  
All not to scale. 

Knowledge of Thai semislugs remains scarce, especially the dancing semislug genus Cryptosemelus. Prior to the present study, only a single species has been recognized with little available information. To address this knowledge gap, we surveyed for semislugs in western and southern Thailand, which yielded three species belonging to the genus Cryptosemelus. The little-known type species C. gracilis is redescribed herein, including a comparison with the type specimens. Two additional species, C. betarmon sp. nov. and C. tigrinus sp. nov., are described as new to science. All three species are characterized by differences in their genital anatomy, especially with respect to anatomical details of the penis, epiphallus, and spermatophore. In addition, C. tigrinus sp. nov. differs from C. gracilis and C. betarmon sp. nov. in the mantle color pattern.

Keywords: Diversity, endemic, land snail, limestone, Malay Peninsula, systematics, taxonomy

Superfamily Helicarionoidea Bourguignat, 1877

Family Ariophantidae Godwin-Austen, 1883
Subfamily Ostracolethinae Simroth, 1901

Genus Cryptosemelus Collinge, 1902 
Type species: Cryptosemelus gracilis Collinge, 1902, by monotypy.

 Cryptosemelus gracilis Collinge, 1902

Diagnosis: Shell globose and pale golden amber. Animal with blue-gray body. Genitalia with large vagina and elongated epiphallus with two small diverticula. Inner sculpture of penis with a small papilla near atrium. Spermatophore with a head filament of several spines and long tail filament with a cluster of small spines at the tip.

Distribution, habitat, and behavior observations: Cryptosemelus gracilis can be found in Satun, Yala, Songkhla, and Pattani Provinces in southern Thailand (Fig. 1). We searched after rain and found the semislug populations normally hiding under the slope of rocks or the tree trunks, and sometimes climbing on the rocks or low branches of plants. When the semislug are disturbed, they escape by quickly flipping and wagging their tail, and then falling on the floor. Information on its natural predators and parasites remains scarce, but the carnivorous slug genus Atopos and streptaxid snails were found sympatrically with this semislug.

Geographic distribution and living animals of Cryptosemelus gracilis, C. betarmon sp. nov., and C. tigrinus sp. nov. based on the specimens examined herein.
All not to scale. 
Black symbols indicate type locality and white symbols indicate other localities.
 Cryptosemelus betarmon Pholyotha, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Shell depressedly subglobose and pale yellowish. Animal with grayish body. Genitalia with penial caecum, small vagina, and elongated epiphallus. Inner sculpture of penis with papilla and penial caecum. Spermatophore with a row of branching spines.

Etymology: The specific name “betarmon” is from the Greek word meaning a dancer and refers to the fidgety movements or dance-like movements of living semislugs found in the field after being disturbed.

Distribution, habitat, and behavior observations: Cryptosemelus betarmon sp. nov. is restricted to the limestone outcrops in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand (Fig. 1). During the rainy season, but with low precipitation, the semislugs were found inactive under the decaying leaf litter or sometimes inside the hole of decaying wood. This semislug species also moved quickly as well as quickly flipping and wagging its tail to escape after being disturbed. The data on its natural enemies are unknown, but the carnivorous snail, Haploptychius sp. (Streptaxidae), was found at a high abundance in the type locality.

 Cryptosemelus tigrinus Pholyotha, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Shell globose, pale yellowish. Animal with brownish body, shell lobes pale yellowish-orange and flanked with irregular black bands. Genitalia with long penis and vagina and epiphallus with granulated surface near vas deferens; penial caecum and penial verge present. Inner sculpture of penis: proximal part with one thickened longitudinal fold; distal part with irregular folds. Spermatophore with smooth head filament and long tail filament with several delicate, branching spines.

Etymology: The specific name is a Latin word “tigrinus”, a noun in apposition referring to the dark stripes on shell lobes, which is similar to the color pattern of the tiger.

Distribution, habitat, and behavior observations: Cryptosemelus tigrinus sp. nov. can be found on the limestone hills in Phang-Nga Province (Fig. 1). This new semislug species has a high activity level, and is abundant in moist weather conditions after rain. They were seen hanging, crawling, or slowly climbing on the wet surface of the limestone rocks, tree trunks, and limestone shrubs. This new species also has an escape behavior similar to the other congeners. Its predators are unknown, but the carnivorous slug Atopos sp. (Rathuisiidae) and Discartemon sp. (Streptaxidae) were sympatric with the new species.

 Arthit Pholyotha, Chirasak Sutcharit and Somsak Panha. 2021. Rediscovering the Dancing Semislug Genus Cryptosemelus Collinge, 1902 (Eupulmonata, Ariophantidae) from Thailand with Description of Two New Species. ZooKeys. 1076: 43-65.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1076.75576 

[PaleoMammalogy / PaleoEcology • 2021] Collapse of the Mammoth-steppe in central Yukon as Revealed by Ancient Environmental DNA


in Murchie, Monteath, Mahony, ... et Poinar, 2021. 

Artwork by Julius Csotonyi 

The temporal and spatial coarseness of megafaunal fossil records complicates attempts to to disentangle the relative impacts of climate change, ecosystem restructuring, and human activities associated with the Late Quaternary extinctions. Advances in the extraction and identification of ancient DNA that was shed into the environment and preserved for millennia in sediment now provides a way to augment discontinuous palaeontological assemblages. Here, we present a 30,000-year sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) record derived from loessal permafrost silts in the Klondike region of Yukon, Canada. We observe a substantial turnover in ecosystem composition between 13,500 and 10,000 calendar years ago with the rise of woody shrubs and the disappearance of the mammoth-steppe (steppe-tundra) ecosystem. We also identify a lingering signal of Equus sp. (North American horse) and Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth) at multiple sites persisting thousands of years after their supposed extinction from the fossil record.


Tyler J. Murchie, Alistair J. Monteath, Matthew E. Mahony, George S. Long, Scott Cocker, Tara Sadoway, Emil Karpinski, Grant Zazula, Ross D. E. MacPhee, Duane Froese and Hendrik N. Poinar. 2021. Collapse of the Mammoth-steppe in central Yukon as Revealed by Ancient Environmental DNA. Nature Communications. 12: 7120. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27439-6

[Botany • 2021] Glossoloma wiehleri (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from the northwestern Andes of Ecuador

Glossoloma wiehleri J.L. Clark & F. Tobar, 

in Clark & Tobar, 2021.

A new species of Glossoloma is described from the western Andean slopes of the Pichincha Province in northern Ecuador. Glossoloma wiehleri J.L.Clark & Tobar is differentiated from all other congeners by an epiphytic habit, elongate scandent shoots that exceed four meters in length, and coriaceous leaves with a velutinous indument on the lower leaf surface. The new species is illustrated, featured with field images from recent expeditions, and assigned the category of Endangered (EN) according to IUCN Criteria.

Keywords: Ecuador, Gesneriaceae, Glossoloma, taxonomy

Glossoloma wiehleri J.L. Clark & F. Tobar.
A Mature flower B Stem with foliage C Stem with axillary clusters of flowers D Hans Wiehler holding the holotype
(A, B from Tobar & Gavilanes 3521 C, D from H. Wiehler et al. 93228). 
Photos A, B by F. Tobar, C by M. Riley D by G. Robinson.

Glossoloma wiehleri J.L.Clark & Tobar, sp. nov.
Diagnosis. Differs from all other congeners by the presence of elongate scandent shoots that exceed four meters in length, coriaceous leaves that are velutinous on lower surface, and a corolla tube that is broadly ampliate on the dorsal surface.

Etymology. The specific epithet is in reference to Hans Wiehler (1930–2003). Wiehler was a practicing Mennonite from East Prussia (now Poland) and immigrated to the USA in the 1950s. He attained a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastern Mennonite College in 1954 and a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1956 from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana (Clark 2003). He eventually left the Mennonite church and pursued his passion for botany. Wiehler earned a Master’s degree from Cornell and obtained his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Miami. Wiehler’s advanced degrees focused on the taxonomy and classification of Gesneriaceae. Wiehler was one of the first botanists hired by the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens where he served as the associate editor and business manager of the garden’s journal, Selbyana (1975–1981). He left Selby in 1982 and established the Gesneriad Research Foundation (GRF) in Sarasota, Florida where he directed annual seminars that were attended by horticulturists, taxonomists, students and plant enthusiasts. Wiehler also organized and directed 14 study trips to South and Central America, including the 1993 expedition that resulted in the discovery of Glossoloma wiehleri. The first author met Hans Wiehler in 1994 and corresponded with him regularly until he died in 2003. Wiehler’s passion for Gesneriaceae was contagious.

 John L. Clark and Francisco Tobar. 2021. Glossoloma wiehleri (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from the northwestern Andes of Ecuador. PhytoKeys. 186: 1-9. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.186.73554

Resumen: Se describe una nueva especie de Glossoloma de las laderas occidentales de la provincia Pichincha en el norte de Ecuador. Glossoloma wiehleri J.L.Clark & Tobar se diferencia de todos sus otros congéneres por su hábito epífito, ramas escandentes alargadas que superan los cuatro metros de longitud y hojas coriáceas con un indumento velutino en la superficie inferior de la hoja. La nueva especie se ilustra con imágenes de campo de expediciones recientes y se le asigna la categoría de En Peligro (EN) de acuerdo a los criterios de la IUCN.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Gobiomorphus dinae & G. mataraerore • Two New Cryptic Species of the Freshwater Fish Genus Gobiomorphus (Gobiiformes: Gobioidei: Eleotridae) in New Zealand

Gobiomorphus mataraerore 
 Thacker, Geiger & Shelley, 2021

Photos by Stella McQueen. 

We describe two new species in the genus Gobiomorphus, a radiation of fresh and brackish water gudgeons known from Australia and New Zealand. These species are a prominent component of New Zealand’s freshwater ichthyofauna and most are widely distributed throughout both the North and South Islands. Two of the inland species, G. breviceps and G. basalis, are composed of disjunct northern and southern populations that are distinguishable with molecular data. We examine individuals from across the ranges of both species, identify morphological differences between them, and describe two new species: Gobiomorphus dinae n. sp. (distinct from G. basalis) and Gobiomorphus mataraerore n. sp. (distinct from G. breviceps). Although the species are similar, they vary in dorsal spine count (G. dinae) and pectoral fin ray count (G. mataraerore). We provide mitochondrial COI sequences for each species pair to facilitate identifications by DNA barcoding. These species represent examples of divergence in allopatry, with diagnostic characters arising over the last 2−5 million years in the G. breviceps/G. mataraerore pair, and fewer than 2 million years in the G. basalis/G. dinae pair. We also designate a lectotype for G. basalis (the paralectotype is G. cotidianus) in order to clarify confusion surrounding the original syntypes.

KEYWORDS: Freshwater, amphidromy, endemic, gudgeon, Eleotridae, Gobiomorphus

Figure 1. Live colouration for Gobiomorphus basalis and Gobiomorphus dinae.
A. G. basalis male (Kirikiri stream, Coromandel). B. G. basalis female (Kirikiri stream, Coromandel).
C. Gobiomorphus dinae male (Turitea Stream, Manawatu). D. G. dinae female (Turitea Stream, Manawatu).
Photos of G. basalis by Rod Morris, photos of G. dinae by Stella McQueen.

Gobiomorphus dinae new species
Dinah’s bully 
Diagnosis: Gobiomorphus dinae is distinguished from G. basalis (Cran’s bully) in that it has one fewer dorsal spine (G. basalis have VIII; G. dinae have VII), usually more pectoral rays (18–19 instead of 16–18), and by its geographic range. It is distinguishable from G. breviceps and G. mataraerore in having more pectoral fin rays (18–19 instead of 14–16), and from G. alpinus in having more dorsal spines (VII as opposed to VI). Gobiomorphus dinae differs from G. hubbsi, G. huttoni, and G. gobioides in lacking open sensory pores on the head. It may be difficult to distinguish Gobiomorphus dinae from the common bully, G. cotidianus. Gobiomorphus cotidianus is widespread on both the North and South Islands and occurs throughout its range in both landlocked and amphidromous forms (Michel et al. 2008). The amphidromous form may be distinguished from G. dinae in that amphidromous G. cotidianus have open sensory pores on the head, at minimum a pair of lateral pores adjacent to the rear margins of the eyes and sometimes also a pair of median interorbital pores. Gobiomorphus dinae lacks these pores. The landlocked form of G. cotidianus does not have open sensory pores on the head and generally has fewer dorsal scales on the nape than the amphidromous form, such that the nape scalation pattern may be equivalent to that seen in G. dinae. Gobiomorphus dinae usually has one fewer anal ray than G. cotidianus (usually I, 8–9 vs. usually I, 10), and generally has a blunter head and more vertically inclined mouth; the head of G. cotidianus is flatter and more wedge-shaped in lateral view, and the mouth is correspondingly less acutely inclined. Mitochondrial COI (barcode) sequence for G. dinae is available under GenBank accession number MZ891637, and for G. basalis under MZ891638.

Etymology: The specific epithet dinae honours Dinah Arndt, in recognition of her unstinting support of freshwater fish research and fieldwork across both Australia and New Zealand.

Figure 4. Live colouration for Gobiomorphus mataraerore  and G. breviceps.
A. Gobiomorphus mataraerore male (Turitea Stream, Manawatu). B. G. mataraerore female (Turitea Stream, Manawatu).
C. G. breviceps male (Ohau River, MacKenzie Basin). D. G. breviceps male (back) and female (front; Stony Stream, Lammerlaw Range).
Photos of G. mataraerore by Stella McQueen, photos of G. breviceps by Rod Morris.

Gobiomorphus mataraerore new species
Kaharore bully
Diagnosis: Gobiomorphus mataraerore is distinguished from G. breviceps (Upland bully) in having one fewer pectoral ray (G. breviceps has 15–16; G. mataraerore has 14), usually fewer lateral scales (37–44 in G. mataraerore as opposed to 40–53 in G. breviceps), and by its geographic range. It is additionally distinguished from all other species in Gobiomorphus in having 14 pectoral rays (rather than 15–20 in the other species). Gobiomorphus mataraerore also differs from G. hubbsi, G. huttoni, G. gobioides and amphidromous G. cotidianus in lacking open sensory pores on the head. Mitochondrial COI (barcode) sequence for G. mataraerore is available under GenBank accession number MZ891639, and for G. breviceps under MZ891640.

Etymology: The specific name mataraerore is derived from the Maori words ‘mata’, meaning face (referring to the distinctive facial expression of Gobiomorphus fishes), and ‘rae’ meaning forehead (referring to the elongate forehead), and ‘rore’ in honour of the type locality that lies within the region traditionally referred to as Kaharore (a traditional bird snare). Noun in apposition.

We describe two new species, Gobiomorphus dinae and G. mataraerore, each representing geographically isolated subpopulations of existing species. Gobiomorphus dinae is separated from G. basalis by the Taupo Volcanic Zone on the North Island, and G. mataraerore is separated from G. breviceps by the Southern Alps. Both species pairs are similar but distinguishable by fin ray counts. We additionally resolve confusion surrounding the syntypes of G. basalis: the two syntypes are different species, and we designate one as the lectotype of G. basalis and the other as a paralectotype identified as G. cotidianus.

Christine E. Thacker, Daniel L. Geiger and James J. Shelley. 2021. Two New Cryptic Species of the Freshwater Fish Genus Gobiomorphus (Gobiiformes: Gobioidei: Eleotridae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research.  DOI: 10.1080/00288330.2021.2007959 

[Botany • 2021] Puya pendula • A New Rupicolous Species of Puya (Bromeliaceae) with Pendulous Inflorescence from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia

Puya pendula Aguirre-Santoro, Betancur and Ordóñez-Blanco,

Aguirre-Santoro, Ordóñez-Blanco & Betancur, 2021. 

Puya pendula, a new species from rocky outcrops at mid elevations of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia is described here. This new species is unique within Puya because of its rupicolous habit, pendulous inflorescence, glabrescent floral bracts, pedicels and sepals covered with glandular hairs, and white petals with a green central longitudinal stripe. The description is complemented with comments on the geographical distribution of the species, habitat, conservation status and a complete taxonomic discussion of its affinities within Puya.

Keywords: Andes, Bromeliaceae, Colombian Eastern Cordillera, Puya, Puyoideae

Puya pendula sp. nov.
 General habit of the plant (voucher: Ordóñez 2589)
 photo by J. C. Ordóñez-Blanco

Puya pendula Aguirre-Santoro, Betancur and Ordóñez-Blanco, sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the pendulous inflorescence of this species.

Julián Aguirre-Santoro, Juan Camilo Ordóñez-Blanco and Julio Betancur. 2021. A New Rupicolous Species of Puya (Bromeliaceae) with Pendulous Inflorescence from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Nordic Journal of Botany. DOI: 10.1111/njb.03239

[PaleoOrnithology • 2021] Hieraaetus moorei • New Zealand's Extinct Giant Raptor killed like An Eagle, ate like A Condor

Hieraaetus moorei (Haast, 1872)

in van Heteren, Wroe, Tsang, ... et Sansalone, 2021. 

The extinct Haast's eagle or harpagornis (Hieraaetus moorei) is the largest known eagle. Historically, it was first considered a predator, then a scavenger, but most recent authors have favoured an active hunting ecology. However, the veracity of proposed similarities to carrion feeders has not been thoroughly tested. To infer feeding capability and behaviour in harpagornis, we used geometric morphometric and finite-element analyses to assess the shape and biomechanical strength of its neurocranium, beak and talons in comparison to five extant scavenging and predatory birds. The neurocranium of harpagornis is vulture-like in shape whereas its beak is eagle-like. The mechanical performance of harpagornis is closer to extant eagles under biting loads but is closest to the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) under extrinsic loads simulating prey capture and killing. The talons, however, are eagle-like and even for a bird of its size, able to withstand extremely high loads. Results are consistent with the proposition that, unlike living eagles, harpagornis habitually killed prey larger than itself, then applied feeding methods typical of vultures to feed on the large carcasses. Decoupling of the relationship between neurocranium and beak shape may have been linked to rapid evolution.

Keywords: finite-element analysis, geometric morphometrics, Haast's eagle, diet, Hieraaetus

 At Craigmore Station, inland Timaru, the Cave of the Eagle shows a painting of Hieraaetus moorei with a dark-coloured body, but an uncoloured head.
 Photographed by Gerard Hindmarsh. 

A. H. van Heteren, S. Wroe, L. R. Tsang, D. R. Mitchell, P. Ross, J. A. Ledogar, M. R. G. Attard, D. Sustaita, P. Clausen, R. P. Scofield and G. Sansalone. 2021. New Zealand's Extinct Giant Raptor (Hieraaetus moorei) killed like An Eagle, ate like A Condor. Proc. R. Soc. B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1913

[Herpetology • 2021] Paraxenodermus borneensis • Phylogenetic Relationships of Xenodermid Snakes (Serpentes: Xenodermidae), with the Description of A New Genus

Paraxenodermus borneensis (Boulenger, 1899) 

(ZRC 2.5731), from Crocker Range, Sabah, in the north-western Borneo.

in Deepak, Lalronunga, Lalhmingliani, et al. 2021.
Photograph by Indraneil Das.

Xenodermidae is a generally poorly known lineage of caenophidian snakes found in South, East and Southeast Asia. We report molecular phylogenetic analyses for a multilocus data set comprising all five currently recognised genera and including new mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequence data for the recently described Stoliczkia vanhnuailianai. Our phylogenetic results provide very strong support for the non-monophyly of Stoliczkia, as presently constituted, with S. borneensis being more closely related to Xenodermus than to the Northeast Indian S. vanhnuailianai. Based on phylogenetic relationships and morphological distinctiveness, we transfer Stoliczkia borneensis to a new monotypic genus endemic to Borneo, Paraxenodermus gen. nov. We also present new morphological data for P. borneensis.

Key words: Borneo, endemic, morphology, Paraxenodermus gen. nov., phylogeny, taxonomy

Line drawings of Stoliczkia khasiensis (A, B),
Stoliczkia vanhnuailianai
(C, D) and
Paraxenodermus borneensis (E, F)
based on ZSIK 14945, BNHS 3656 and BMNH 1946.1.15.58 respectively.

Genus characteristics are highlighted in different colours: 1) some supralabials in contact with eye in Stoliczkia, separated by circumorbital scales in Paraxenodermus; 2) fewer supra- and infralabials in Stoliczkia than in Paraxenodermus; 3) single prefrontal in Stoliczkia versus 2–3 in Paraxenodermus, 4) fewer scales between parietal and supralabials immediately behind eye in Stoliczkia than in Paraxenodermus, and 5) small row of scales between frontal and prefrontals absent in Stoliczkia, present in Paraxenodermus.
Note small scales behind the temporals are indicative rather than precisely accurate. Pale grey coloured areas are bare skin exposed between scales.
Illustrations by V. Deepak and Surya Narayanan. Scale bars = 10 mm.

Stoliczkia — (Jerdon, 1870)

Content— S. khasiensis (Fig. 3A–B) and S. vanhnuailianai (Fig. 3C–D)

Diagnosis: This genus can be diagnosed based on the combination of the following features: (1) maxillary teeth small and subequal, (2) head very distinct from (much wider than) ‘neck’, with large shields on dorsal aspect, (3) posterior one-third of the head and posterior temporal region covered with small scales like those of the anterior end of the body, (4) 3 small scales between parietal and supralabial shields immediately behind eye (5) 8–9 supralabials, (6) nostril in a large concave nasal, (7) body slender and somewhat laterally compressed, (8) ventrals large, and (9) dark dorsum and pale venter meet along a regular straight line ventrolaterally and subcaudals partially or completely darker than venter.

Distribution: This genus is restricted to Northeast India (Fig. 1). Stoliczkia khasiensis is thus far known only from Khasi hills, Meghalaya state, India and the recently described Stoliczkia vanhnuailianai is known only from Mizoram state, India.

Etymology: The genus is named after the Moravian-born Ferdinand Stoliczka (1838–1874). A geologist-natural historian, he was appointed as a palaeontologist with the Geological Survey of India in 1863. Stoliczka collected vertebrates and molluscs from northern India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Myanmar and the Malay Peninsula. He served as the official Naturalist with the Second Mission to Yarkand, in central Asia. A biography and a list of published works and reports by Stoliczka can be found in Kolmaš (1982).

Paraxenodermus borneensis in life (ZRC 2.5731), from Crocker Range, Sabah, in the north-western Borneo. Sequences for this specimen was published in Vidal and Hedges (2002) and used in this study.
Photograph by Indraneil Das.

Paraxenodermus, gen. nov. 
Type species: Paraxenodermus borneensis (Boulenger, 1899).

Type locality: Mount Kinabalu, North Borneo (4,200 ft / 1,280 m); the holotype is deposited in the Natural History Museum, London as BMNH 1946.1.15.58; collected by Richard Hanitsch in March, 1899.

Diagnosis: This genus can be diagnosed based on the combination of the following features: (1) maxillary teeth small and subequal, (2) head very distinct from (much wider than) ‘neck’, with large shields on dorsal aspect, (3) posterior one-third of the head and posterior temporal region covered with small scales like those of the anterior of the body, (4) numerous small scales between parietal and supralabial shields immediately behind eye, (5) a row of 4–6 small scales between the frontal and prefrontal shields, (6) 10–11 supralabials, (7) nostril in a large concave nasal, (8) body slender and somewhat laterally compressed, (9) ventrals large, and (10) dorsum with numerous dorsolateral and middorsal pale blotches, venter pale with brown patches and subcaudals dark grey.

Etymology: The generic name Paraxenodermus is composed of the modern Latin generic name Xenodermus and the Latin adjective par (paris), meaning, among other possibilities, “similar to”.

Paraxenodermus borneensis (Boulenger, 1899).

 V. Deepak, Samuel Lalronunga, Esther Lalhmingliani, Abhijit Das, Surya Narayanan, Indraneil Das and David J. Gower. 2021. Phylogenetic Relationships of Xenodermid Snakes (Squamata: Serpentes: Xenodermidae), with the Description of A New Genus. Vertebrate Zoology. 71: 747-763. DOI: 10.3897/vz.71.e75967

[Herpetology • 2021] Pristimantis daquilemai • A New Minute Frog of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae) from Cordillera del Condor, Ecuador

Pristimantis daquilemai
Brito-Zapata, Reyes-Puig, Cisneros-Heredia, Zumel & Ron, 2021

We describe a new species of Pristimantis from southern Ecuador, province of Zamora Chinchipe. The new species is closely related to an undescribed species of Pristimantis from Reserva Tapichalaca, Ecuador and with species of a clade historically assigned to the P. unistrigatus species group, such as P. parvillus, P. luteolateralis, P. walkeri, among others. The new species of Pristimantis is a miniaturized new frog (females 17.1±1.1 mm; males 13.2±0.9 mm), characterized by the presence of “› ‹”-shaped scapular folds, with two subconical tubercles on the medial and posterior regions of folds; tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus present but not externally visible; a prominent rostral papilla present; upper eyelid with one elongated conical tubercle; a conical tubercle on heels; groin with orange or yellow spots. The new species of Pristimantis is distributed in a restricted area in the Cordillera del Condor, a highly-diverse mountain range threatened by multiple anthropogenic activities. We recommend assigning the new species to the Endangered IUCN threatened category because it is only known from three nearby localities within mining concessions.

Keywords: Amphibia, Andes, Diversity, phylogeny, Pristimantis daquilemai sp. nov., taxonomy, Terrarana 


David Brito-Zapata, Carolina Reyes-Puig, Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Daniel Zumel and Santiago R. Ron. 2021. Description of  A New Minute Frog of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae) from Cordillera del Condor, Ecuador. Zootaxa. 5072(4); 351-372. DOI :10.11646/zootaxa.5072.4.3

[Entomology • 2021] Zographetus dzonguensis • A New Species of Zographetus Watson, 1893 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from Sikkim, eastern Himalaya, India

Zographetus dzonguensis
Karmakar, Lepcha, Basu & Lepcha, 2021

Chocolate-bordered Flitter || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5072.4.4

A new species, Zographetus dzonguensis sp. nov., is described based on three male specimens from Upper Dzongu, North Sikkim District, Sikkim, India. The new species is closely similar to Z. pangi from Guangdong and Z. hainanensis from Hainan, China, from which it is distinguished based on the following combination of external characters: (a) forewing with the white spot at the base of space M3 being sharply pointed at the inner edge and conspicuously more elongated, and (b) on underside of hindwing, all chocolate-brown spots being smaller, in Z. dzonguensis sp. nov. compared with both Z. pangi and Z. hainanensis. In Z. dzonguensis sp. nov., the male genitalia may be distinguished as follows: (c) tegumen and uncus are almost equal in length, (d) the dorsal outline of tegumen is relatively flat, and (e) saccus is distinctly bent upward as angle between vinculum and saccus is more acute than in Z. pangi and Z. hainanensis.

Key words: Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, species discovery, species description, butterfly taxonomy

Type specimens of Zographetus dzonguensis sp. nov. A millimetre scale is at the bottom.

Zographetus dzonguensis sp. nov. in life. All individuals were photographed at Namprikdang playground, Dzongu, North Sikkim District, Sikkim, India in August-September 2020 and 2021.
Photographs by Sonam Wangchuk Lepcha.

Zographetus dzonguensis sp. nov. Kunte, Karmakar & Lepcha

Etymology: The new species is named after the type locality of Dzongu in Sikkim. This is a stronghold of the Lepcha—the people of Sikkim—to whom the description of this species is dedicated.

Proposed English Name: We propose the English name ‘Chocolate-bordered Flitter’ for this species based on the chocolate-coloured termens of both the wings on the ventral side.

Distribution: The species is known so far only from the type locality of Dzongu in North Sikkim District. We expect it to be more widely distributed in other parts of Sikkim and adjoining Nepal, northern West Bengal, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and south-eastern Tibet, at similar elevations.

Tarun Karmakar, Sonam Wangchuk Lepcha, Dipendra Nath Basu and Sonam Wangchuk Lepcha. 2021. A New Species of Zographetus Watson, 1893 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) from Sikkim, eastern Himalaya, India. Zootaxa. 5072(4); 373-379. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5072.4.4

[Botany • 2021] Cremastra saprophytica (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae: Calypsoinae) • A New Leafless Autonomously Self-pollinating Orchid Species from Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Cremastra saprophytica Suetsugu,

in Suetsugu, 2021.

A new species of Cremastra (Orchidaceae), C. saprophytica, is described from Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The new species is similar to C. aphylla in having a leafless and mycoheterotrophic habit. However, it is distinguishable from C. aphylla by its green stem, more closed perianth tube, smaller lateral lobes of lip, smaller callus of lip positioned at base of the midlobe and absence of a rostellum and viscidium. An illustration and ecological information on the new species are provided. A key to the Cremastra species is also provided.

Keywords: Calypsoinae, Japanese flora, mycorrhiza, mycoheterotrophy, new species, self-pollination, taxonomy

Cremastra saprophytica from the type locality.
A–C. Flowering plant.
D. Flower, dorsal view. E. Flower, lateral view. F. Flower, front view. Central arrow points to a small smooth callus of lip positioned at the base of midlobe, whereas the other arrows point to the inconspicuous lateral lobes.
G. Fruiting plants. H. Fruiting body of Coprinellus disseminates, one of the associated fungi of C. saprophytica.

Cremastra saprophytica Suetsugu, sp. nov.

 Type:—JAPAN. Gifu Pref.: Ibi County, Ibigawa Town, Kasugakawai, 5 Jun 2021, Suetsugu Sa52 (holotype: KYO!, spirit collection). 

Cremastra saprophytica is similar to C. aphylla but differs by its more closed perianth tube, smaller lateral lip lobes, smaller callus positioned at base of the midlobe and lack of rostellum and viscidium. 

Distribution and phenology:—Cremastra saprophytica is only known from the type locality. Flowering occurred from late May to early June, and fruiting from late June to early October. 

Kenji Suetsugu. 2021. Cremastra saprophytica (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae), A New Leafless Autonomously Self-pollinating Orchid Species from Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Phytotaxa. 527(2); 89-96. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.527.2.1


[Botany • 2021] Isotrema pseudohei (Aristolochiaceae) • A New Species from Yunnan, Southwest China [Taxonomic Studies on the Genus Isotrema from China III]

 Isotrema pseudohei X.X.Zhu, Jun Wang bis & G.D.Li, 

in Wang, Li, ... et Zhu, 2021. 
拟何氏关木通 || DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.186.63543

Isotrema pseudohei, a new species from Yunnan, Southwest China, is described and illustrated. It is morphologically similar to I. hei and I. moupinense, but differs from the former in the colour of flower and throat, the size of throat and the shape of gynostemium lobes, and from the latter in the shape of lamina and gynostemium lobes.

Keywords: Aristolochia, clarification, morphology, taxonomy

Line drawing of Isotrema pseudohei X.X.Zhu, Jun Wang bis & G.D.Li
 A habit B leaf C flower (frontal view) D flower (lateral view) E flower (dorsal view) F dissected flower (showing the inside structure) G anthers and gynostemium H dehiscing capsule I seeds.
Illustrated by Shi-Zhen Qiao.

 Isotrema pseudohei X.X.Zhu, Jun Wang bis & G.D.Li from the type locality
 A habit B leaves C flower (frontal view) D anthers and gynostemium E fruit F seeds.
 Photographed by Xin-Xin Zhu.

Isotrema pseudohei X.X.Zhu, Jun Wang bis & G.D.Li, sp. nov.
Diagnosis: Similar to Isostrema hei Lei Cai & X.X.Zhu and I. moupinense (Franch.) X.X.Zhu, S. Liao & J.S.Ma, but significantly differs in the following characters: laminas lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, basal tube of calyx ca. 1.5 cm long, inside dark purple at base and yellowish white above base; upper tube of calyx ca. 2.3 cm long, inside yellowish white, getting yellow in upper portion; inner surface of limb yellow with purplish red patches; throat yellow, suborbicular, 7–9 mm in diameter; apex of gynostemium lobes acute.

Description: Climbing shrubs. Stems terete, brown pubescent when young, old branchlets glabrous. Petioles 1–2 cm long, appressed villous; laminas lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, 6.5–17.5 × 2.6–4.5 cm, base round to shallowly cordate, margin entire, apex acute, adaxially sparsely pubescent, abaxially densely villous, especially on veins, lateral veins 4–6-paired. Flower solitary, axillary or on stems; pedicels ca. 3 cm long, densely rusty villous; bractlet 1, lanceolate to elliptic, 3–4 mm long, adaxially subglabrous, abaxially densely rusty villous, inserted on middle part of pedicel. Calyx tube geniculately curved, abaxially yellowish white, densely villous; basal tube ca. 1.5 cm long, inside dark purple at base and yellowish white above base; upper tube ca. 2.3 cm long, inside yellowish white, getting yellow in upper portion; limb discoid, ca. 2.1 cm wide, shallowly 3-lobed, lobes broadly triangular, inner surface yellow with purplish red patches; throat suborbicular, yellow, 7–9 mm in diameter. Anthers 6, oblong, ca. 1.6 mm long, adnate in 3 pairs to base of gynostemium, opposite to lobes. Gynostemium 4–5 mm long, 3-lobed, apex of lobes acute. Ovary terete, ca. 8 mm long, densely brown villous. Capsule cylindric, six arrises, ca. 3 × 2.2 cm. Seeds ovate to elliptic, 3.5–5 × 3–4.5 mm, adaxially deeply concave, abaxially convex, glabrous on both sides.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the similarity between the new species and Isotrema hei in the morphology of lamina and flower. The Chinese name is given as “拟何氏关木通”.

Jun Wang, Guo-Dong Li, Juan-Juan Yang, Bin Shen, Chun-Xia Pu and Xin-Xin Zhu. 2021. Taxonomic Studies on the Genus Isotrema (Aristolochiaceae) from China III: I. pseudohei, A New Species from Yunnan, Southwest China. PhytoKeys 186: 43-52. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.186.63543